James A. Petrie IV - Page 8

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               The marginal tax rates are lowest for married individuals              
          filing jointly and they progressively increase for each category            
          as follows:  Head of household, individual, and married filing              
               The threshold issue in determining filing status is to                 
          determine marital status.  Marital status for purposes of filing            
          a joint or separate return is determined under section 7703.                
               Under section 7703(a), a taxpayer who is "married" may be              
          considered unmarried for tax purposes, if he is legally separated           
          under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance or meets the              
          requirements of section 7703(b).12                                          
               An individual is considered legally separated under a decree           
          of divorce or separate maintenance if the decree "expressly and             
          affirmatively provides that the parties live apart in the                   
          future".  Capodanno v. Commissioner, 69 T.C. 638, 646 (1978),               
          affd. 602 F.2d 64 (3d Cir. 1979) (quoting Boettiger v.                      
          Commissioner, 31 T.C. 477, 483 (1958)).  A decree of support or             
          temporary alimony which does not require separation is not                  
          considered a decree of divorce or separate maintenance within the           
          meaning of section 7703(a).  Dunn v. Commissioner, 70 T.C. 361              
          (1978), affd. without published opinion 607 F.2d 995 (2d Cir.               

          12        Section 7703(b) requires that the taxpayer maintain as his home a 
          household which constitutes for more than half of the taxable year the      
          principal place of abode for a child with respect to whom the taxpayer is   
          entitled to a dependency deduction.                                         

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